7 file petitions as individuals gain access to Constitutional Court

September 25, 2012, Tuesday/ 16:53:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN WITH WIRES

Seven people filed petitions with the Constitutional Court in the first few hours of Monday, the first day of a new regulation allowing individual access to the top court that was initiated with the purpose of reducing the number of applications from Turkey filed with the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).

According to the new regulation, those claiming that their fundamental rights such as the right to life, equality in the eyes of the law and freedom of religion and expression have been violated by the state can file a lawsuit with the Constitutional Court on condition that they have exhausted every means possible to defend their rights with administrative or judicial bodies.

Rapporteur İbrahim Çınar, responsible for the office of individual applications to the court, noted that people must come personally to file a lawsuit at the top court. Applications made via mail or fax will not be accepted. Several commissions will investigate the applications and will then decide if they will be accepted. Individuals will have to pay TL 172 for each application.

The ECtHR is a Strasbourg-based court that hears complaints of violations of human rights in contracting states.

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